Mindfulness at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Desk Yoga

Desk Yoga

Today’s mindful moment is just a reminder and some guidance to take a moment for you in the midst of a day that can feel like there’s no space for that. I will also include my favorite desk yoga video that you can show others when they need a mindful moment themselves.

I hope you take a few minutes somewhere in this day to settle in, take some deep breaths, and find yourself back in the present moment.

6 minute Desk Yoga: I use this video with co-workers on particularly stressful days. I find it to be a good way to give everyone a break that also keeps them centered and focused. I also like to use this video during morning meetings when everyone is feeling extra energized and needs a little calming energy before they start their day. Sometimes I narrate what the print in the video is saying as well. Up to you!

Take your moment: Take a second to settle into a comfortable seated position. Sit up tall, imagining that there is a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you gently toward the sky. Let your eyes gently close. Take a deep breath in through your nose, holding for two seconds when you get to the top of your breath. Make a small ‘O’ with your mouth and slowly exhale through your mouth. Take another inhale through your nose, and turn your attention to your thoughts. When you notice a thought you’re having, acknowledge it, and then let it go. Do your best to let your mind be still. Each time a new thought comes up, don’t judge, just acknowledge it and let it pass. Continue breathing. When you are ready, open your eyes and take one more deep, cleansing breath. This can look like a big, deep breath in through your nose, and an audible, long breath through your mouth.

Remember that this simple practice is always available to you. Take it when you need it.

Have a happy rest of your week, and don’t allow this to be your last mindful moment of the week.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.
Notice 5

Notice 5

A huge part of being mindful is working on your ability to be present in the moment. Our strategy this week will help us develop that skill. It’s called Notice 5 things.

Ever think about how often we arrive home after work and think, ‘wow how did I get here?’ or how often we do an activity and think, ‘there’s no way that was 75 minutes…’ Being present in each moment can help us make the most of our time and find ourselves having fewer and fewer times when we think, ‘where on earth did that hour go?’

  1. Pause for a moment and take a deep breath, noticing the busyness of your mind and trying to focus in only on your breath.
  2. Look around, and notice five things you can see. Just notice. Maybe you notice the color of the walls, or the trinket sitting on your desk that you placed there 2 months ago and haven’t thought about since. Notice 5 things you can see.
  3. Listen carefully, and notice five things you can hear. Maybe you can hear the pipes, maybe you can hear the teacher next door, or your own breathing. Just notice 5 things you can hear.
  4. Notice five things you can feel. Maybe you notice the wind from your fan on your face, or your watch against your skin, or your feet touching the ground. Just notice 5 things you can feel.
  5. Take your time with this activity, maybe take one minutes for each step, and then reflect on the way those 3 minutes felt, and how the rest of your day feels too.

Have a great rest of your day, everybody. Don’t let this be your last mindful moment before next time, either.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.
Calming Breaths

Calming Breaths

Anxiety is something that many people everywhere face everyday. While there is no simple solution or “quick fix” for anxiety, there are strategies we can use and teach to others to help us cope, feel a sense of calm and reset so we can continue with our days.

Today we’ll be doing some nice simple calming breaths.

Calming breaths

  1. Find a comfortable seated position, planting your feet on the ground and sitting up tall. You may close your eyes or keep your eyes open and focused during the exercise, whichever feels better to you. For some people, keeping their eyes open while feeling anxious may be the best bet.
  2. Place one hand, palm down on your chest, and the other hand on your back (back of hand should be laying on your back with your palm facing out.) If this is not within reach for you, place your second hand on your belly.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel your hands move apart as your rib cage expands. Feel your body filling up with air.
  4. As you exhale through your mouth, feel your hands moving back toward each other.
  5. Repeat this for 5 breaths, trying to lengthen the breath each time.

I hope you enjoyed this little mindful moment, and that it isn’t your last until next time.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.

About Mindfulness at MCA

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Mindfulness allows one to be aware, to be understanding, and to be positive. It helps to calm anxiety, to focus the mind, and even to boost brain function.

According to The Atlantic, Google, General Mills, the Seattle Seahawks, and the U.S. military have embraced mindfulness as a means of boosting performance and productivity, while its potential as an antidote to the distractions and stress of everyday.

This year, MCA has converted a small classroom into a “Peace Room” equipped with comfortable seating, soft lighting, and artwork.

Why does MCA practice mindfulness? Mindfulness can improve attention, reduce stress, and can result in a better emotional regulation and improved capacity for compassion and empathy. It is the right thing to do for our students, staff and community.

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Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

4030 N. 29th Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53216
PHONE: (414) 873-4014
FAX: (414) 873-4344
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Judith Parker, Principal

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